Volleyball's Rally Comes Up Short In Four-Game Loss To Texas

Sept. 1, 2001

SEATTLE - Texas outside hitter Mira Topic had 17 kills to earn tournament MVP honors and lead the Longhorns to an undefeated tournament record with a four-game win over Washington, 30-28, 30-23, 30-32, 32-30, Saturday evening in the final match of the Point Huskies Volleyball Invitational. With the loss, the Huskies finished the opening weekend of its 2001 season with a 1-2 overall record, while the Longhorns improved to a perfect 3-0.

The UW was led offensively by junior outside hitter Paige Benjamin (Redmond, Wash.), who had 17 kills. Senior center blocker Allison Richardson (Fairfield, Calif.) logged her third straight double-double of the season with 11 kills and a team-high 16 digs, while junior setter Gretchen Maurer (San Clemente, Calif.) added a career-best 48 assists and three service aces. Both Richardson and Maurer were selected to the six-player all-tournament team.

After recording 16 aces against Purdue earlier in the day, the Huskies' aggressive serving resulted in 20 service errors against the Longhorns. Neither team hit particularly well as Texas finished with a .143 team hitting percentage to Washington's .153 mark.

In game one, the Longhorns led the entire way before the Huskies made a late charge at 25-29, fending off three game points on kill by Benjamin and a service ace and kill from Richardson to move to within one at 28-29. A Richardson hitting attempt, however, landed just long on the next serve as Texas took game one, 30-28.

After the Longhorns rolled through game two, 30-23, the two schools each had game points late in game three, before the Huskies finally capitalized following a Richardson kill and a jump serve ace from freshman Vanessa Gilliam (Fairfield, Calif.), to win 32-30.

In game four, Washington fell behind by as many as eight points at 12-20, but managed to rally late in the game to tie the score at 28-28, 29-29 and 30-30. A kill by Topic and a hitting error by Richardson, finally gave Texas the match on its third game point at 32-30.

Earlier in the evening, Brigham Young defeated Purdue in four games to finish 2-1 in tournament play, while the Boilermakers remained winless at 0-3 in 2001.

The Huskies are back in action next week when they hit the road for four matches in Colorado, beginning with a non-conference match at Denver on September 4. The UW then continues on for a four-team tournament at the Air Force Academy, September 7-8.

Washington vs Texas (Seattle, Wash.) - September 1, 2001
Texas (3-0) def. Washington (1-2), 30-28, 30-23, 30-32, 32-30

Kills: UW 58 (Benjamin 17), UT (Topic 17), Hitting: UW .153, UT .143, Assists: UW 55 (Maurer 48), UT 50 (Schindler 50), Service Aces: UW 9 (Maurer 3) , UT 8, Digs: 64 (Richardson 16), UT 73 (Duarte, Topic 17), Team Blocks: UW 11, UT 10.

#11 Brigham Young (2-1) def. Purdue (0-3), 23-30, 21-30, 30-26, 20-30

Final Tournament Standings
1.) Texas 3-0
2.) BYU 2-1
3.) Wash. 1-2
4.) Purdue 0-3

All-Tournament Team
Gretchen Maurer, UW
Allison Richardson, UW
Nina Puikkonen, BYU
Sunny Tonga Mahe, BYU
Bethany Howden, UT
MVP - Mira Topic, UT

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